158 IDEAL HOME LIFE
9. Running the Tight-rope. The two flower-pots are inverted at such a distance apart as to just support the ends of the springing plank. Each competitor must run along the plank from end to end, and it adds to the general excitement if one or two Japanese umbrellas are provided, and if each competitor is forced to stop, pick up an umbrella from beside the plank, and, opening it, run the plank with it held over his or her head like a true tight-rope walker.
10. . Crawling Through the Barrel. The barrel is laid on its side, and each competitor must crawl through it before running on to breast the winning tape. This is more difficult than it sounds, because the barrel, not being pegged down in any way, is apt to roll round and round with a competitor inside it before he or she can succeed in getting through. For a big party, as this is the last obstacle, two or three barrels may be arranged in a row, and this adds greatly to the general excitement, for the competitor who first succeeds in successfully negotiating the barrel is practically certain of winning the race, and the sight of several barrels rolling about madly, with frenzied arms and legs waving from either end of them, provokes a very gale of merriment from the spectators.
A two-yard length of broad, white tape, held between a couple of "grown-ups," makes the starting-post and winning-post.
To start the obstacle race, when all the children have assembled, arrange them in a line, five yards behind the starting-point, and standing one behind the other according to ages, the youngest in front and the eldest at the back of the line.
The starting-rope is now raised, to make a low jump for the small child who has to start the race, and is raised an inch or two for each competitor until it has become quite a good jump for the biggest boys and girls to negotiate as a start.
The time-keeper now cries, "One, two, three—go!" and off dashes the smallest child of the party, who, being a nimble little person, in spite of her minute size, has wound in and out of the ladder and is well on toward the rug tunnel before No. 2, who is nearly a year older, gets his start. The time-keeper counts ten for each year of age, consulting a card upon which